September 21, 2020
During the fall semester, the Research Task Force will continue sending updates about campus operations that affect research and creative activities during the pandemic. This message addresses topics for the week of Sept. 21-25.
Message from Bob Wilhelm
Thank you for your continued efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the community. Your ongoing commitment and flexibility have played a crucial role in ensuring UNL is able to hold in-person classes and that our research enterprise operates with minimal disruption. Although there is eagerness to resume normal activities, I urge you stay the course and continue following recommended health and safety precautions and university guidance. Lincoln remains in the mid-orange range of the COVID-19 risk dial, meaning there is high risk of community spread. As researchers, scientists and scholars, we must do our part to reinforce a culture of health and safety.
Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development
Campus approach to health and safety: Faculty, staff and students are reminded to follow a layered approach to preventing the virus’ spread: wear a face mask, wash hands frequently and maintain 6 feet of distance. Employees are encouraged to continue working from home whenever feasible to decrease density in campus buildings.
Operating plans for research and creative spaces: Through September, investigators should continue following the reopening guidelines and complete the reopening plan and checklist if they have not already done so. Investigators can modify existing reopening plans by clicking on the link embedded within the original approval e-mail.
Campus visitors: Research teams may have reason to allow visitors, such as vendors or collaborators, in their spaces. Although UNL does not prohibit visitors during this time, faculty hosts are responsible for making sure guests are aware of and follow UNL’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines while on campus. Researchers also must inform their supervisor of any planned visits to ensure they approve of hosting visitors.
How to treat research, creative spaces after a confirmed COVID-19 case: University Operations developed protocol for researchers if they are notified that an individual who has a confirmed positive case has been in their research lab or creative activity space.
Within the past seven days
- Follow CDC guidance and evacuate the space. If possible, plan to evacuate for at least 24 hours prior to cleaning and disinfecting.
- Contact the UNL Facilities service desk at 402-472-1550 to arrange for cleaning and disinfecting.
- After the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be reopened for use.
- Workers without close contact (fewer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after the space has been disinfected.
More than seven days
- If it has been more than seven days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfecting is not necessary. Continue routine cleaning and disinfecting following UNL’s Laboratory Cleaning and Disinfecting SOP where applicable.
This communication is distributed to principal investigators with approved research and creative activity re-opening plans as well as the associate deans for research. Please share this guidance with members of your research team as appropriate.